Census: Increase in Wisconsin Foreign-Born Population

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The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the number of state residents born outside the country has increased by 31 percent since 2000. That is far above the national average growth of 10 percent.

According to new estimates, the bureau says about 254,000 residents of Wisconsin last year were born in other countries, compared with 194,000 four years earlier.

The foreign-born made up nearly five percent of the state's population, compared with 3.6 percent in 2000.

Nearly half of the immigrants were from Central America, including Mexico. Asia accounted for just over a quarter, while Europeans accounted for 17 percent.

State labor economist Terry Ludeman says he suspected the state was taking on more immigrants than elsewhere because the local economy has been so strong.